It’s always interesting to throw the question, “Have you ever been bullied?” out to the average person, then sit back and wait for the answer. Whether they were bullied, or “the bully,” it seems everyone has, not just a story — but a story worth listening to.
My neighbor Jeffrey lives with his (due any moment) pregnant wife, toddler and little dog Brady. A seemingly affable guy by anyone’s standards, one would find it hard to believe that at one time he was bullied. But then again, is there really such thing as a “bullied type?” Probably not.
Here’s his story, in response to my “have you ever been bullied” question. He even titled it for me.
A message in bullying – Robbie Allen, Edgewood MD, 1992-93 (8th grade)
I am a military brat. I have lived my whole life on army/air force bases. A year here, a couple years there…don’t get comfortable, look forward to new horizons. Whatever sadness I felt leaving behind great friends would quickly be shadowed by the excitement of a new land, a new start, and perhaps, adolescent maturity of other kids going through the same motions. Overseas was easy. It was harder making friends stateside.
Which brings me to 8th grade…my father’s first assignment after Frankfurt, Germany, Edgewood, Maryland was a typical suburban community of Mid-Eastern America
I wasn’t ready for the spoiled brats of the surrounding ‘upper crust’ areas, Bel Air, etc., but this was my first school that wasn’t completely DOD or run by nuns.
All was good, I felt a little isolated, but had “small chat” relationships with some of the kids that sat around me in our different classes. After all, this was a one- year assignment, and I would be in a different town, probably in a different state, so there was no need to keep relationships or hold grudges against any hardships.
Except for one kid…one kid that was in all of my classes, Algebra I, Adv. Science, it didn’t matter…he was there. He was not physically impressive or intimidating; fairly skinny, pre-pubescent, but with a certain dress, haircut, and manner that merged with the Bel Air kids.
I say that because it wasn’t until the last month of the school year that I found out his own mother was the portly lunch-lady that served the secondary slop dish. He wasn’t from white-collar stock. So many “your mama is so fat…” jokes came to my head…I was ready to get physical. But time was faster than my maturity, I moved before we could meet again in high school.
But to this day, if I won the lottery, bought a home for my family, set up college funds for my kids, made sure my friends and family were financially sound, and donated the rest to charity…but somehow, had 1k leftover…I’d love to fly back to Robbie’s home, ring the doorbell, and when he answers the door, kick him in the balls.
The missing middle part of the story would be the majority of the school-year, raising your hand and Robbie immediately yelling, “Shut up, faggot.” Or pushing you into the lockers during hall breaks, lunch breaks, or in the gym locker room during prep time. The same story we’ve seen and heard time again…but my wife just read what I previously wrote and wondered, “How was he such a prick?” Trust me…he was, and he did. I’m 33, and if I ever saw him again, my first response wouldn’t be to shake his hand…it would be to kick him in the balls.